In February, Heidi Grant Halvorson wrote a blog post for the Harvard Business Review entitled 9 Things Successful People Do Differently that ended up being their most-read article ever. That led to an expanded version of it as an e-book, which is, from what I can tell, a boiled-down version of her book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals. That e-book — which you can hear more about on this episode of the HBR Ideacast — is without a doubt the most important writing on productivity and effectiveness I’ve read this year. I say that because it is (a) tremendously practical, and (b) extremely short.
Dr. Grant Halvorson is a motivational psychologist whose research digs into the question “Why do some people succeed at reaching their goals while others fail?” The answer, as it turns out, has little to do with talent. Instead, it’s largely a matter of little differences in the way people make their goals and how they plan to achieve them. The e-book lays out nine specific you can do to take advantage of what this research tells us. It’s simple and profound stuff, and as I read it, I found a lot of resonance with my own experience. I’ve discovered most of them in one form another on my own and seen firsthand that they work; the book gave me the framework to understand why. I knew they worked for me, and the book gives me good reason to believe they’ll work for other people, too. So, for the next nine days, I’m going to take a look at each of the ideas in turn and show how they helped me succeed at my goals. Sound good?